Māori entrepreneur Rawiri Nelson’s path to success has been long and challenging. He hopes his story might inspire the next generation of rangatahi to show that with hard work and a little luck, dreams are possible.
Nelson (Te Arawa) is the founder of Höm Energy, which provides a range of supplements that help with focus, performance, and sleep. He’s recently moved into the entertainment industry, becoming a co-founder of the much-anticipated hip-hop and R&B summer festival Juicy Fest in January 2023.
Having grown up in Whakarewarewa in Rotorua, he moved across the ditch to Australia when he was 17. Growing up in te ao Māori from an early age is what, he says, got him through life and its challenges.
“We can probably talk about the successful things that I’ve achieved in regard to setting a goal and doing it. But what isn’t spoken about enough, I believe, is the number of times that I’ve actually failed.
“Höm Energy and Juicy Fest are just two things that worked out of a thousand things that didn’t work. It’s about consistency and coming back to why I’m actually doing it in the first place and having that mauri and understanding of myself to achieve that thing.
“Even if all these doors closed it’s about having that persistence and coming back to my why, my whānau, and getting up to do it again.”
Nelson confronts those questioning his festival’s legitimacy.
Whether Juicy Fest will go ahead has been questioned by many people in Aotearoa. Alarm bells have been ringing on social media since it was announced.
Nelson fronted today and responded to the rumours that the festival won’t happen.
“When you are dealing with a new brand, you’re going to face people that have something to say about their beliefs and if it’s real, because it hasn’t happened yet,” he says. “My question to that: Why is it so hard to think that a couple of young Māori, Polynesian boys can pull off something like this?
“It’s 100% real.”
The festival will have five shows in Aotearoa and four shows in Australia. The line-up includes legends of the 2000s music era such as Nelly, Ne-Yo, Twista and Pretty Ricky.